Posts filtered by tags: Our House[x]


 

Le millefeuille

Ken brought home a couple of these tasty pastries from his shopping trip yesterday. It's a millefeuille (a thousand layers), made of flaky pastry and pastry cream. When I lived in Paris, the millefeuille quickly became my favorite pastry. I don't eat many of them these days, but once in a while it hits the spot. Artfully blurred (oops) photo of one of yesterday's millefeuilles. We call them Napoleons in English. We're expecting a delivery of fire wood this morning, en principe. Ken ran into on...
Tags: Travel, Paris, Our House, Ken, WCS, Food And Cooking


Achy breaky

I got my booster shot on Friday afternoon and, boy, am I feeling it this morning. It's not anywhere near bad, just that my arm, hip, and neck muscles feel quite sore. It's a stronger reaction than I had with my two previous shots. They were Astra Zeneca, this one's Moderna. Maybe that has something to do with it. From Ken's experience last week, I expect the achy-ness to subside in twelve to twenty-four hours. Abtract lighting in a Parisian café, September 2006. So, anyway, I'm boosted and now...
Tags: Travel, Eu, Our House, Ken, WCS, Astra Zeneca, Whatnot, Moderna Maybe


Television for dogs

During the winter, I put seed and suet balls out for the birds. The suet balls are suspended in a kind of a cage from the deck railing, opposite the sliding glass door. We get to see tits, robins, and finches feeding, some pecking at the suet, others picking up whatever falls to the deck. Each day, Tasha spends some time watching all the activity from her spot on the rug. Tasha quietly watches the birds feeding on the deck. Once in a while, Bert the cat comes and watches with her. Our Christma...
Tags: Travel, Holidays, Brussels, Our House, Ken, WCS, Bert, Tasha, Food And Cooking


Mister Moose lives the lush life

He used to visit all the very gay places, Those come what may places Where one relaxes on the axis of the wheel of life, To get the feel of life, From jazz and cocktails.   It looks like Moosletoe has been dipping into the Christmas cheer a bit early this year.   Song: "Lush Life" by Billy Strayhorn. [Author: wcs]
Tags: Travel, Holidays, Moose, Our House, WCS, Billy Strayhorn, Moosletoe


Bougies

Gray days and early evenings call for colorful candles in the house. The candles in these cups are what we Americans would call tea lights. In French, they're bougies chauffe plat (plate warming candles). The cups themselves, votive holders in the US, are called photophores in French. I got the cup holder in the US long ago. It came with clear glass cups. I found these colored cups here in France. Did you know that there's a difference between tea lights and votive candles? I didn't. Tea light...
Tags: Travel, Amazon, France, US, Our House, WCS


Jingle bells

I took this photo yesterday morning, looking up from the driveway just before sunrise. It's the annual "here are the lights on the house" photo. I used the tripod and the 24mm wide-angle lens. Holiday lights 2021. Also yesterday, I put the real fake Christmas tree up and strung the lights on it. I didn't get to the actual ornaments yet because I was making another batch of cranberry biscotti, this time with walnuts instead of pecans. Yum! [Author: wcs]
Tags: Travel, Holidays, Our House, WCS


Light my fire

Oh, the mess around the stove is frightful, but the fire is so delightful. Burning wood is a messy business. Cleaning up after burning is, too. Every day after a fire, I have to empty the ashes by brushing them into the tray below the floor of the stove and taking that tray down to the utility room to empty it into a galvanized ash bucket. Tasha likes to bark at me when I do this. When the bucket gets full, I take it out back and dump it. Grape vine trunks on the left and inside the stove, a c...
Tags: Travel, Our House, WCS


Just hanging around

We're still waiting and wondering when (and if) our deck contractor will start work. We may be waiting until spring at this point. Abandoning this contractor to find another sounds good, but I'm not sure it's worth getting at the back of someone else's line, if we could find someone who would even bother calling us back. I note that the husband of our mayor recently told Ken that he waited a year and a half to have a concrete slab poured next to his garage for a planned carport. Another neighbor...
Tags: Travel, Our House, Ken, WCS, The Vineyard


Chim chim cher-ee

So far, it's working fine. But we haven't had a windy day since the new chimney was installed earlier this week. The real test will be if the flame stays lit when the wind blows. The old chimney was abandoned in favor of a horizontal vent through the wall next to the boiler at the time it was installed. The reason was cost. Ken remembers asking about it during the installation and the technician responded that it would cost about five hundred euros more to pull the old tube out of the chimney an...
Tags: Travel, Our House, Ken, WCS


It's not how I see it

I've been trying, for years, to get a good photo of this stand of birches out next to one of the vineyard parcels. For some reason, and after trying different settings with three different cameras over the years, my photos of these trees just do not look like what I actually see. Or what I think I see. I can't describe it, but I'm just not satisfied. Birches.   The heating company arrived on Tuesday afternoon on time. They spent just under two and half hours to pull the old tubing out of the ...
Tags: Travel, Our House, WCS, The Vineyard


Tiny fir trees

These are the flower heads atop those magenta-colored stems I posted yesterday. To me, they look like little fir trees. I wonder if they'll get festooned with teeny-tiny decorations as the holidays approach? I'll keep my eye on them. I wonder what they are. A funny thing happened a couple of days ago. A very young man stopped at the house and said he was sent by the water company to test our tap water. We had no communications from the water people that this was going to happen. I said uh, umm...
Tags: Travel, Wildflowers, Our House, Ken, WCS


Red straws

I don't know what these are. They're growing on the edge of one of the cornfields out among the vineyard parcels. What caught my eye were the vibrant magenta-colored stems. Their flower heads are clustered at the tops of the stalks, are bright green, and are shaped like little fir trees. More fall color. Nothing much is going on here at the moment. We're in waiting mode for the deck contractor (what else is new?) and we have an appointment with the central heating people on Tuesday to have the...
Tags: Travel, Wildflowers, Our House, WCS


A little news

For lack of anything else to post today, here's a gratuitous shot of our living/dining room from last week. A little distortion in the image exaggerates the length of the dining table. We still haven't done anything about replacing the curtains. The new chainsaw arrived as expected yesterday. This morning I'll put it together and see if I can start it up. I would like to get some branches cut before the forecast rain over the weekend. This is a big holiday weekend in France (Toussaint, All Sai...
Tags: Travel, France, Our House, WCS


Ten years ago today

I was posting photos of our hedges. More specifically, photos of my progress in trimming them. This was before I stopped trimming the hedges myself and started paying a landscaper to do it. I don't regret that decision. This is the smallest section of the hedge adjacent to the driveway. We hadn't yet replaced the deck doors then. 18 September 2011. We're expecting a chilly and wet weekend, if the weather people are to be trusted. Fall is coming in right on schedule. I'm still hopeful that we'l...
Tags: Travel, Our House, WCS


Trimmed and mowed

This past week, while the weather was warm and dry, the vineyards out back got trimmed and mowed. The guy that did the work drove a tractor over the vines with an attachment that trims the tendrils from the tops and sides of the vines. After that was done, he drove the tractor pulling a mowing attachment between the vine rows to cut the grass down. Everything is squared off and we can walk between the rows again. Trimmed and ready for harvest. I wonder when they'll start. The plumber and his h...
Tags: Travel, Our House, WCS, The Vineyard


Grapey

The grapes have enjoyed our week of summery weather. They're looking pretty ripe out there now. I haven't seen any of the growers testing the grapes for sugar levels yet, so I don't think the harvest is about to start. I'll keep my eyes open. Much riper looking now than just a week ago. Our plumber is coming over this morning, bright and early, to replace our shower door. You might remember that we had a new shower stall built about five years ago. The door, a folding glass door, came loose sh...
Tags: Travel, Our House, WCS, The Vineyard


Cookin' with(out) gas

We cooked our first meal on the induction stove on Sunday. It was pork tenderloin simmered in a cream sauce with prunes, served over pasta. Learning the stove's new controls is just as much about unlearning old reflexes as it is learning new terminology ("cooking zone" instead of "burner" for example). We had the instruction manual close by and referred to it a lot while cooking. Everything seems to be working as it should and our meal was a success. The induction cook top looks like it will b...
Tags: Travel, Australia, Our House, Mike, WCS, Spaghetti alla Nerano


Too soon?

The "early turners," as I call them, are doing their thing. Each year some of the grape vines get a head start on their fall colors. The grapes are just beginning to ripen, but certain vines think it's fall. It's not because of the weather. This happens every year. It's a little preview of what will happen in the coming months. Fall is on its way. Some days, it feels like it's been here all along. The new stove was delivered as promised and the delivery guys installed it and took the old one a...
Tags: Travel, Our House, Ken, WCS, The Vineyard


Kornfield Kounty

This is one of two small fields of corn that have appeared in vacant parcels out among the grape vines the past two years. This year, probably because of all the rain we've had, the corn is very high. There are little cobs, too, but they're very little, probably because they need even more water to grow to a normal size. Neither of these cornfields is irrigated. I doubt that this is sweet corn. It's more likely feed corn like most of the corn grown in France. A field of corn out among the vine...
Tags: Travel, France, Our House, WCS, The Vineyard, Kornfield Kounty


Tasha Tuesday

I got this shot of Tasha looking into the sunrise last Friday. She paused for a moment while we were making our way through a vineyard parcel. I have to be fast, because she doesn't stand still for long. Tasha stands in a patch of clover. Monday was a mostly indoor day. The weather was chilly and damp. But that seems to be over now and the forecast is for more seasonable days ahead.The plumber who built our shower stall was over yesterday to repair the glass shower door. It keeps detaching fro...
Tags: Travel, Our House, WCS, Tasha


Out with the old...

...and in with the new. Ken did this post yesterday, but I thought I'd do a version, too. We got a new sofa last week. The old one is now about ten years old and it shows. It's getting a little threadbare in spots. Plus, the last time we washed the cushion covers we had a hard time getting them back on. Two zippers broke. We decided it was time. The chair on the left still has the old shabby slip cover, the one on the right has the new sleeker look. We wanted a real three seater. The old sofa ...
Tags: Travel, Ikea, Our House, Ken, WCS


Seen from the road

Here's the house as seen from the road. It's got its summer face on, meaning that there are flowers in the kitchen window box and a parasol on the deck. Looking at the photo, I realize I should have put some flowers in the loft window boxes, too. Maybe next year. It might look summery in this photo, but looks can be deceiving. This morning the sky is leaden and everything is wet. It's been raining off and on through the night. Plants, especially weeds, are loving this weather. They're all lush...
Tags: Travel, Our House, WCS


Messy path

I haven't been working on cleaning up the garden path this spring. Reason being that we're expecting it to be renovated once the contractor schedules us. He's going to dig it up and re-level it with new base material, including some kind of weed fabric barrier, and then top it off with new, smaller gravel. In the meantime, I've got piles of twigs and pruned plants piled up in the path. It's a little obstacle course, but manageable. The garden path is a mess and is becoming overgrown with weeds...
Tags: Travel, Our House, Lo, WCS, Garden Flowers Plants


Walnut tree

There is a lone walnut tree out on the vineyard road. The nuts it produces are small and not really worth harvesting. One of our neighbors (now deceased) used to walk out every now and then and pick a bagful off the ground in the fall. Our dog Callie was very curious about the nuts. Birds (or other animules), cracked some of them open. Callie would sniff and sometimes even eat a leftover piece of a walnut, but not very often. Tasha sniffs, but I've never seen her eat one. Lonely walnut tree. K...
Tags: Travel, Our House, Ken, WCS, Tasha, Callie, The Vineyard


Parasol demi-lune

Now that the weather is getting nicer (we got up to over 21ºC, almost 70ºF, on Friday), we're using the deck a little more. We're still expecting the renovation work to get under way sometime this spring, so I haven't put the table and chairs out yet. But I'm grilling and enjoying sitting out there a little. And, I put out the new umbrella. The new umbrella on the deck. Ken likes the way it matches the emerging red maple leaves. Like I mentioned before, it's half an umbrella, or half-moon, mad...
Tags: Travel, Jerusalem, Our House, Ken, WCS


Parasol demi-lune

Here is the page from the catalogue where I found the "half-moon" umbrella for our deck. When I first went over to Bricomarché (a national chain of hardware and DIY stores), they hadn't yet received them but were expecting to. A sales assistant took my name and number and said he'd call when they came in. Yeah, right. Our deck is covered. I use the umbrella on the outer edge. I've had enough experience to know that he was probably just placating me. No call has come. I went over to the store a...
Tags: Travel, France, Our House, WCS


"In a surreal scene of chaos and glee, hundreds of Trump loyalists roamed the halls, taking photos and breaking into offices."

"No police officers were in view. In a room where there were images of mountains and maps of Oregon on the wall, a man in a leather jacket ripped a scroll with Chinese characters. A young man put a framed picture of the Dalai Lama in his backpack. 'We’re claiming the House, and the Senate is ours,' a sweaty man in a checked shirt shouted, stabbing his finger in the air. Nearby in the first-floor Crypt, the heart of the Capitol building, the police appeared to be overwhelmed. One wiped tear gas f...
Tags: Protest, Smoking, Law, Oregon, Police, Senate, House, Wisconsin, Scott Walker, Dalai Lama, Our House, Bathrooms, Trump, Capitol, Walker, U S Capitol


Color my world

The holiday decorations are down and put away. I like to do that on New Year's Day. I know some people like to keep their decorations up through the twelfth night, and I've known others that keep their decorations up into February. Yikes. Santa's gone now, but the candles remain. So now, the only colorful lights in the house are votive candles. This candle holder came with clear glass votive holders. I replaced them with these colorful cups since we've been in France. They help to make the dar...
Tags: Travel, France, Our House, WCS


While it's still fall [2]

This morning felt chilly when I got out of bed. The outdoor thermometer read about 8ºC (about 46ºF). The thermostat inside read 17ºC (about 63ºF). That's not right. I went downstairs to let the dog out and noticed the boiler's instrument panel flashing red with an error code. I hit the reset button and it reset itself then came on. So we're warming back up. These are the leaves from there. Today is expected to be cooler than yesterday. Nonetheless, I'm planning to grill burgers outside. It may...
Tags: Travel, Our House, WCS, The Vineyard


Autumn on the deck

It's not quite warm enough to enjoy sitting out there for any length of time, but the deck does offer some nice views this time of year. It's not too cold to grill, though. On Sunday I grilled a steak for lunch. While grilling, I noticed that the light was particularly pretty. We had a light overcast that diffused the sunlight and made the golden leaves look even more golden. The deck thermometer reads 16.4ºC (about 62ºF) at mid-day. I got the camera out and snapped a few quick shots from the ...
Tags: Travel, Our House, WCS